[persbericht] [ffii] Commission withholds key study on criminal measures from European Parliament

Ante ante op vrijschrift.org
Di Apr 8 10:23:21 CEST 2008

----------  Forwarded Message 08/04/08 ----------

PRESS RELEASE -- [ Europe / Economy / Innovation ]

Commission withholds key study on criminal measures from European Parliament

Brussels, 7 April 2008 --- Four years after the European Commission first 
proposed criminal measures against infringements of so called intellectual 
property rights, the Commission has started a study to find out whether such 
measures are actually needed. The study was started half a year after the 
European Parliament concluded its first reading on the latest proposal, 
IPRED2, the Criminal Measures directive.

In answer to a written question by MEP Nicola Zingaretti, the Commission 
writes: "At the end of September 2007, the Commission launched a 
questionnaire addressed to the Member States in order to conduct a study on 
the situation of the intellectual property legislation in the Member States."

The Member States had pointed out that such a study was missing. Community 
legislation has to be proportional and comply with the subsidiarity 
principle. In the case of Community criminal law both the objective of the 
Community and the measures have to be essential as well.

FFII analyst Ante Wessels says: "We welcome the fact the Commission admits 
that a study is necessary. But the study should have been concluded before 
the proposal was written. The European Parliament could not properly assess 
the necessity of criminal measures while this essential study was missing. We 
believe the present proposal should be withdrawn and the Council should 
refuse to proceed with it."

On 20 March 2008, the Official Journal of the European Union published a 
controversial and contested version of the IPRED2 European Parliament (EP) 
consolidated text. This happened despite formal objections raised on 4 
December 2007 by MEP and shadow rapporteur Eva Lichtenberger. In the 
contested version, an amendment already adopted by the EP is missing. EP 
Secretary-General Harald RÝmer refuses to release documents about this 
matter, stating on the first of April that "The requested letter contains 
elements related to a matter not yet concluded by the European Parliament" 
and that there is no "overriding public interest in disclosure". The 
pertinent amendments have also been removed from the EP website.

Background information

The full formal name of the IPRED2 proposal is Amended proposal for a 
Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on criminal measures 
aimed at ensuring the enforcement of intellectual property rights 
(COM/2006/0168 final - COD 2005/0127).


* Zingaretti's written question and Commission's answer to it:


* PR on Zingaretti's written question: EP Rapporteur wants to crack down on 
internet users:


* Council workgroup discussing the lack of a study:


* FFII page on the missing amendment:


* Official Journal of the European Union:


* Request for document:


* EP Secretary-General Harald RÝmer letter refusing to release document:


* FFII/EFF/EBLIDA/BEUC coalition report on the proposal as amended in 
Strasbourg by the European Parliament at its first reading on Wednesday, 25 
April, 2007:


* FFII IPRED2 information website:


* Permanent link to this press release:


Contact information

Ante Wessels
FFII "IPRED" Work Group
+31 6 100 99 063
ante at ffii.org

Benjamin Henrion
FFII Brussels
+32-2-414 84 03
bhenrion op ffii.org

About the FFII

The FFII is a not-for-profit association active in over fifty countries, 
dedicated to the development of information goods for the public benefit, 
based on copyright, free competition, and open standards.  More than 850 
members, 3,500 companies and 100,000 supporters have entrusted the FFII to 
act as their voice in public policy questions concerning exclusion rights 
(intellectual property) in data processing.

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